Improved gap detection thresholds following auditory training: Evidence of auditory plasticity in older adults

Liat Kishon-Rabin*, Meital Avivi-Reich, Daphne Ari-Even Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In this article, the authors aimed to measure the course of improvement in a gap-detection (GD) task following multisession training in older compared with young adults. Method: Participants with normal hearing (N= 30) were divided into 4 groups: 2 groups of older and young adults who received multisession training over 10 days (9 adults/group, Mage = 64.7 years and 24.1 years, respectively) and 2 control groups of older and young adults (6 adults/group, Mage = 65.4 years and 26.3 years, respectively). Stimuli consisted of silent gaps marked by 2 noise bands centered at 1000 Hz. GD thresholds (GDTs) were measured through use of an adaptive procedure in each testing day, 24 hr post-training and at 1 month post-training. Results: Initial GDTs of the older group were significantly poorer than those of the young adults. However, by the fourth training day, the mean GDTs of the 2 groups were similar, and both groups showed the same rate of improvement in the following sessions. Data of the controls confirmed that the better GDTs of the trained groups resulted from their training. Retention of learning was demonstrated for both age groups. Conclusions: The data from this study support the notion that some aspects of auditory learning and temporal resolution may be preserved in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-346
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Audiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Aging of the auditory system
  • Auditory learning
  • Auditory temporal resolution
  • Auditory training
  • Gap detection


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